Worker Feedback Dashboard Decision Support System Participatory Design Tools Social Media Platform Augmented Reality Offline Training Tool Onsite Training Tool
Our project is based on the concept that workers are experts in what they do. It is therefore important to include their opinions and knowledge in designing their work. The Factory2Fit solutions have been developed based on extensive research into industrial needs, and have benefited from the oversight of our three major industrial partners, Continental, Prima Power, and UTRC-I. By basing our solutions on requirements identified by members of the industrial sector, we can ensure that our solutions are highly relevant to manufacturing companies and address the biggest issues facing European factories today. These revolve around the following core issues; increasing worker empowerment, engaging the work community and improving the adaptability of both the worker and the workplace.
To this end, we developed the following Industrial innovations:
Worker Feedback Dashboard
Using data collected from a Fitbit smart watch, this dashboard solution privately provides the worker with statistics concerning their well-being, productivity, steps taken, quality of sleep and work satisfaction over time. These can be graphed and explored over a number of months to show workers where they have improved and the relationship between productivity and personal well-being. This solution is aimed at developing a culture of self-improvement, and all information is private and restricted to the worker it concerns.
Decision Support System: Dynamic Task Prioritisation and Scheduling
Our task assignment tool uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimally assign tasks to both workers and industrial machines. Workers can input their task preferences and choose whether they would prefer to complete a task they are experienced at, or whether they would prefer to improve their skills in new tasks. Our algorithm collects this information, as well as data on their skills and competences, combines it with information on the tasks that need completing and their relative priority, and produces optimised work schedules.
In addition to this, the Decision Support System is integrated with industrial machines so that it can instantly register any errors in machines and transfer work to others where necessary. This saves significant amounts of time and facilitates the distribution of tasks in sequential production processes.
Participatory Design with Virtual Factory
By using virtual factory models, our design tools allow workers to visualise new production lines or factories well in advance of construction, and ensure that all elements are ideally positioned. Due to the low cost and ease of use, anyone can contribute to the factory design, allowing operators to have input and share their expertise.
Knowledge Sharing Tools
Social Media Platform: Contextual knowledge sharing
This platform allows workers to instantly exchange information and knowledge between themselves, as well as leaving tips and comments linked to machines in production lines. This means that if there are persistent errors with a machine, workers can leave notes linked to it explaining the issue and how to resolve it if it cannot be avoided.
Augmented Reality Guided Assembly
Augmented Reality (AR) glasses allow workers to instantly share adaptive and dynamic instructions with each other. By using AR, live instructions can now be presented visually rather than just by audio means. These tools guide workers through the assembly of products by visually showing them instructions and next steps. By actively showing the worker the next steps in the production process, our tools keep their hands free and limit the need to cross factory floors in order to check schematics and blueprints between assembly steps.
Off-site Training Tool: Hands-on pre-training in a Virtual Environment
Virtual Reality tools allow workers to train in a model factory that replicates their work environment. This allows workers to train in a safe environment before the assembly line has been fully constructed, thereby significantly shortening the employee learning curve and meaning that the line can reach peek productivity much more quickly. In addition to this, workers can safely train for abnormal or critical situations.
On-site Training Tool: On-the-job training with image search-based video guidance
Workers can use this tool to look up videos of experts completing tasks, and explore them step by step. The videos can be accessed through an image search. By taking a photo of a particular part and uploading it to the system, the worker will trigger a search for a match through our virtual library. Once a match between the image and a video is found, the worker can watch videos of expert workers completing the task and explaining the steps for assembly. This provides the worker with much more freedom to learn at their own pace, as well as cutting down on the amount of time expert trainers needed in the factory.